Opinion: Kobe Bryant’s death makes way for new California law that was long needed

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Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images

On Jan. 26, a helicopter crash killed nine people, including NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi Bryant. The events that followed immediately after the crash have caused even more devastation for the Bryant family and many others.

First responders on the scene allegedly took unauthorized photos of not only the crash site itself, but the dead bodies of all nine passengers– ones that included children. In the wake of this horrific act, Vanessa Bryant, wife and mother of two of the victims of the crash, filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for these photos. 

The solution, it seems, was to pass a law stating that no first responders are to take unauthorized pictures of the dead bodies they encounter. Is the privacy of a celebrity more important than that of an average Joe? Not at all.  Is this a fair law? Should this law have come before a celebrity death? Absolutely. 

This law is crucial for anyone who is lost in a tragic accident. 

The current fascination with true crime has led people to be more curious and less discreet. Podcasts about murder have heightened not only people’s interest in murder, but have also sugar coated it.

The law should have come to fruition long ago, not just over pictures of a celebrity, but when the mass appeal of death became profitable.

What isn’t seen in these invasive photos are the families behind the scenes. The mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters — those who have lost a crucial part of their existence. 

These photos and lack of awareness harm the families who have to cope with a hole in their world. 

Bryant left behind a wife, children, a family and fans all over the country. The people who took pictures of not only his corpse but that of his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were not thinking of how the pictures would mortify those left behind. They were only thinking of the entertainment value of pictures of a dead celebrity. 

The availability of these pictures to the general public is not only insulting but a violation no family should have to face. The lack of privacy and respect for the dead, and those surrounding them is absolutely appalling. 

This new law protects not only the bodies of celebrities, but the bodies of any victims. This is a huge step for those who have lost their family and friends. They will no longer fear what lays ahead on the internet.

One thing this law also brings to an end is what is available at the click of a search button. No longer will curious civilians be able to search for photos that were not released by authorities.

This comes as a relief to parents, who worry their children will one day see pictures of their loved ones after death, something that might be available to Bryant’s children in the future. Those images will only serve to reopen a deep wound that may never fully heal. 

Any first responders who violate this law will face up to a $1,000 fine per person,a seemingly small price to pay for unjustly upsetting the lives of so many, with the touch of a button.

Follow Ashley on twitter @AshleyFairchi14.